June 20, 2021 – Area 81 Racing scored two third place finishes at Pittsburgh International Race Complex over the weekend. After two lackluster practice sessions on Friday, Tim Pierce put the #81 JDR on the outside pole during Q1 on Saturday. Race 1 promised to be very exciting with seven competitors having lap times within one second. A heavy dose of afternoon showers helped Tim withstand challenges from Alex Mayer, who chose slicks, to finish 3rd.
Persistent rain on Saturday resulted in a green track during Sunday morning qualifying. All but one car posted slower times during Q2, with Tim qualifying 5th. Track conditions did not improve as expected in Race 2 as four cars ahead of Tim spun, had mechanical issues, and ran into each other. He also fought to keep the car on track and within striking distance, wrapping up the weekend on the 3rd step.
Tim Pierce, driver #81 – “We’ve finished 3rd in 5 of the 8 races this year so I feel very fortunate. I have come to expect crazy weekends, but this one is completely different. Everything came together during Q1 and put us on the outside pole. Then the rain came and two of the top five decided to go out on slicks, including the pole setter. I was on the outside going into Turn 1 and two cars passed us from behind. The wind was blowing a wall of moisture into my face and I couldn’t see anything. Once I managed to get past Alex (on slicks) the other two guys were gone. I’m glad I chose rains, but I was starting to doubt myself for a few minutes before the race. It was a last minute, 50/50 decision.’
‘I had a terrible understeer during Q1 because the rain washed all the rubber off the track and we were the first session out. I thought it would come back once it got rubbered in, but never did. My tires were toast after the seventh lap of the third heat cycle, which was completely unexpected. I was steering the car by rotating the rear since my front tires had no grip. I also had to use the curbs in a couple turns to force the front to dig in. I knew we’d have a chance at the end if I could just stay close. I kept the car under me and took advantage of the opportunity.”
The next event on the schedule at Summit Point Motorsports Park in Summit Point, WV on August 21st & 22nd. Be sure to check out our live stream on the NorthAmF1000 Facebook page. Thanks to our crew, series, sponsors, and competitors for a fantastic weekend.